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Beyond Certification

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Is certification the solution? Can it deliver urgently needed improvements to complex problems like deforestation and the exploitation of people? In this controversial new book, Scott Poynton, founder of The Forest Trust, makes a compelling case for a new approach to social and environmental problems that goes "beyond certification".

Certification emerged from the 1992 Rio Earth Summit amidst great hope. Since then, despite a proliferation of certification schemes in twenty-five industry sectors, the destructive and irresponsible exploitation of natural and human resources has grown still worse.

Beyond Certification reviews the positive aspects of certification, of which there are many, but argues that we can no longer afford to gloss over its failures.

The book offers an alternative model, VT-TV, based on Values, Transparency, Transformation and Verification, which the author has been exploring and implementing with over 70 companies and industries around the world.

These companies are transforming the story of the raw materials they use – wood, palm oil, pulp and paper, stone, charcoal, soy, beef, sugar, dairy, rubber, coffee, cocoa and coconut. Mining companies are also exploring this approach, making decisions aligned with fundamental values and what they know to be right.

The results? Trust is emerging as former combatants awake to the importance of working together. Guns have been removed from forests, land set aside for protection, worker rights and conditions improved and long-standing conflicts have been resolved as people confront their legacies.

Beyond Certification does not claim that this VT-TV model is the only solution. Rather, it shows how new and seemingly radical thinking can catalyze positive change. Included: the limits of roundtable certification illustrated with real, practical examples; the intricacies of the change process – how companies move from destructive to more responsible practices; how to implement more holistic, economically effective, durable systems to better protect people and the environment.

Abstract and Keywords

About the author

Acknowledgements

Preface

1: Introduction

2: Certification’s record

3: Moving beyond certification

- V for Values!

- T for Transparency!

- T for Transformation!

- V for Verification!

- That’s it VT-TV!

4: Between two worlds

5: Setting spirits free

Notes

References

SCOTT POYNTON founded The Forest Trust (TFT) in 1999 and has led the organization since. He has experience bringing change to a variety of industries, particularly the forest and wood, palm oil, and paper sectors.

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